Years ago, my Aunt Marie put together a family cookbook, named "Cucina Di Rosa," after my grandmother Rose. It was full of my grandma's classic recipes and even some new recipes from all family members. We write them down as we cook them, so sometimes the measurements are approximate, but, hey - we're Italian! So make the best of it, and adjust it to your liking. I have chosen three appetizers to share from my family recipe archive - just in time for the holiday cocktail parties! Try them out, have a party, then.........................invite me!
NICOLE'S TOMATO AND ARTICHOKE DIP
1/2 cup oil packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 8oz. pkg (2 cups) shredded Jarlsburg Cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
Drain tomatoes to remove oil, chop. Combine tomatoes, artichoke hearts, cheese, sour cream, mayo & garlic in mixing bowl. Transfer to baking dish and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake @ 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and mixture is heated through. Serve with baguettes.
KICKED UP HUMMIS DIP
3 cups cannelini beans
cilantro, finely chopped
2 - 4 tbsp lime juice
4 - 6 sun dried tomatoes, chopped
3 garlic cloves
1 cup goat cheese
Place beans, goat cheese, cilantro, parsley in a bowl and mash together. Add sun-dried tomatoes, chopped garlic and lime juice and mix together to form dip. Serve with crackers, pita, or toasted french bread slices.
EGGPLANT, TOMATO & GOAT CHEESE BRUSCHETTA
2 cans peeled plum tomatoes (San Marzano, of course)
1 med. eggplant
4 cloves garlic
1 small onion
1/4 cup olive oil
Oregano, to taste
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
3 tbsp. re wine vinegar
1 loaf Italian bread
1 pkg goat cheese
Coat the bottom of a medium saucepan with olive oil. Add chopped garlic & onion to the oil while still cold. Season with salt & pepper. Cook until onions are transparent. Add oregano. Peel & dice eggplant into small pieces and add to the pan, season well. Saute for about 5-7 minutes. Add vinegar & cook for about 2 more minutes. Pour both cans of tomatoes in & break up with a wooden spoon. Season well. Allow to cook for about an hour, uncovered, so as to cook away some of the liquid.
Slice the bread to about 3/4" thickness. Lay on a baking sheet & drizzle with olive oil. Bake in 350 degree oven until light brown. Remove & spread each slice with goat cheese. Chop basil & add it to the eggplant just before spreading it onto the toasts. Serve immediately.